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    ABSTRACT: Pain perception can be altered by activity in the periaqueductal gray (PAG). The PAG can decrease the incoming nociceptive signals at the level of the spinal dorsal horn, but it is not clear whether the PAG can also affect the sensory thalamus, ventral posterolateral and ventral posteromedial thalamic nuclei, to modulate pain. However, the PAG and the thalamus have direct connections with each other; so we postulated that the PAG may also modulate pain by inhibiting the sensory nuclei in the thalamus, and that these may also reciprocally influence the PAG. Here, by analyzing the local field potentials recorded from the sensory thalamus and the PAG in chronic pain patients with deep brain stimulation electrodes, we show that PAG stimulation inhibited the sensory thalamus with decreasing thalamic delta, theta, alpha and beta power, and sensory thalamus stimulation excited the PAG with increasing PAG delta and theta power. We demonstrate that the PAG and the sensory thalamus interact reciprocally at short latency, which may be related to pain modulation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Experimental Brain Research
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    ABSTRACT: To develop a sensitive, reliable tool for enumerating and evaluating technical process imperfections during surgical operations. Prospective cohort study with direct observation. Operating theatres on five sites in three National Health Service Trusts. Staff taking part in elective and emergency surgical procedures in orthopaedics, trauma, vascular and plastic surgery; including anaesthetists, surgeons, nurses and operating department practitioners. Reliability and validity of the glitch count method; frequency, type, temporal pattern and rate of glitches in relation to site and surgical specialty. The glitch count has construct and face validity, and category agreement between observers is good (κ=0.7). Redundancy between pairs of observers significantly improves the sensitivity over a single observation. In total, 429 operations were observed and 5742 glitches were recorded (mean 14 per operation, range 0-83). Specialty-specific glitch rates varied from 6.9 to 8.3/h of operating (ns). The distribution of glitch categories was strikingly similar across specialties, with distractions the commonest type in all cases. The difference in glitch rate between specialty teams operating at different sites was larger than that between specialties (range 6.3-10.5/h, p<0.001). Forty per cent of glitches occurred in the first quarter of an operation, and only 10% occurred in the final quarter. The glitch method allows collection of a rich dataset suitable for analysing the changes following interventions to improve process safety, and appears reliable and sensitive. Glitches occur more frequently in the early stages of an operation. Hospital environment, culture and work systems may influence the operative process more strongly than the specialty.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · BMJ Open
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    ABSTRACT: Background and purpose: Obtaining renal access is one of the most important and complex steps in learning percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL). Ideally, this skill should be practiced outside the operating room. There is a need for anatomically accurate and cheap models for simulated training. The objective was to develop a cost-effective, anatomically accurate, nonbiologic training model for simulated PCNL access under fluoroscopic guidance. Methods: Collecting systems from routine computed tomography urograms were extracted and reformatted using specialized software. These images were printed in a water-soluble plastic on a three-dimensional (3D) printer to create biomodels. These models were embedded in silicone and then the models were dissolved in water to leave a hollow collecting system within a silicone model. These PCNL models were filled with contrast medium and sealed. A layer of dense foam acted as a spacer to replicate the tissues between skin and kidney. Results: 3D printed models of human collecting systems are a useful adjunct in planning PCNL access. The PCNL access training model is relatively low cost and reproduces the anatomy of the renal collecting system faithfully. A range of models reflecting the variety and complexity of human collecting systems can be reproduced. The fluoroscopic triangulation process needed to target the calix of choice can be practiced successfully in this model. Conclusions: This silicone PCNL training model accurately replicates the anatomic architecture and orientation of the human renal collecting system. It provides a safe, clean, and effective model for training in accurate fluoroscopy-guided PCNL access.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Journal of endourology / Endourological Society
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